Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has agreed to a settlement of nearly $25 million in a case with McKinsey & Co. for the company’s role in fueling and profiting from the opioid crisis in the state.
The $24.7 million settlement is part of a nationwide settlement of $573 million that spans across 47 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. Ohio is set to receive $20 million this year and the remaining $4.7 million over the next four years.
“Twenty-four and a half million dollars won’t cure the opioid crisis, but it can be a start toward bringing treatment and services to people in need,” Yost said in a statement. “With consultation from Gov. DeWine, the plan is to lead by example and put the lion’s share of this money into the OneOhio Recovery Foundation so it can be put to work across Ohio.”
OneOhio is a partnership between several areas of state government that works to provide transparency in the distribution of opioid settlement funds.
McKinsey’s settlement comes from a complaint filed against the company that detailed how it advised Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, in how to maximize profits from opioid products, including targeting high-volume prescribers, circumventing pharmacy restrictions and using specific messaging to increase OxyContin prescriptions.
“While no amount of money will ever be enough to make up for the devastation caused by putting profits ahead of people’s lives, the settlement announced today is another step toward loosening the grip that addiction has on our state and helping Ohioans recover,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said in a statement.
McKinsey will also be required to publicly disclose tens of thousands of its internal documents detailing work with Purdue Pharma and other opioid companies.
The settlement follows a massive surge in opioid overdoses in the state, fueled by the coronavirus pandemic. A study published in December 2020 showed that 19 counties in the state exceeded or equaled records for the most overdoses in a year during 2020.
“The opioid crisis is in local communities, and that is where the money needs to be spent,” Yost said. “This down payment is the beginning of a brighter tomorrow for Ohio, new hope for the families of those who are addicted and hope for those who are themselves.”
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Jordyn Pair is a reporter with The Ohio Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair.